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Criminal procedure — Writ of actual innocence — Need for hearing

In 1991, appellant, Alvin Jones, Jr. A/K/A Phillip Jones, was convicted by a jury sitting in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City of attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, handgun offenses and other related offenses. He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life imprisonment plus 20 years consecutive. Upon direct appeal of those convictions, we affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in an unreported per curiam opinion. Timothy Earl Hatchett & Phillip Alvin Jones, Jr. v. State of Maryland, No. 820, Sept. Term 1991 (filed March 20, 1992). Appellant subsequently mounted numerous unsuccessful attacks on his convictions and sentences.

In March 2015, appellant, acting pro se, filed a petition for a writ of actual innocence pursuant to the provisions of Md. Code (2001, 2008 Repl. Vol., 2015 Supp.), § 8-301 of the Criminal Procedure Article (“C.P.”), and Md. Rule 4-332, alleging newly discovered evidence that, had he known the existence of in time for his 1991 trial, would have created a substantial or significant possibility that the result would have been different. On April 1, 2015, the circuit court dismissed appellant’s petition for a writ of actual innocence without a hearing. Appellant noted a timely pro se appeal and presents two questions which are reducible to one for our review:

Did the circuit court err in denying the 2 petition for a writ of actual innocence without a hearing?

Read the opinion here: